White Kicks Off AmEx’s Annual Concert Series

Rock star to play first ‘Unstaged’ livestream this year

Jack White and American Express might seem an unlikely pair. But they’ll be sharing the spotlight this month by way of the credit card brand’s Unstaged concert series.

The former White Stripes front man will headline the first show in the series, now in its third year. Thanks to AmEx’s partnership with YouTube and Vevo, Unstaged lets fans stream—online and via mobile devices—performances by leading artists filmed by top-flight auteurs. White will play the intimate Webster Hall in New York on April 27 at 9 p.m. ET. The Webcast will be directed by actor Gary Oldman.

With the exception of a single Coca-Cola commercial in 2006, White has done little work with brand marketers. The AmEx partnership coincides with the release of White’s solo debut, Blunderbuss, on April 24. The concert series is another example of the music industry increasingly working with brands.

“The digital landscape really offers an entirely new opportunity to bring great music, our artists, our relationships with the industry to a very scaled amount of consumers,” said Deborah Curtis, vp of entertainment and marketing sponsorships at AmEx. For example, Coldplay’s Unstaged gig from Madrid last year netted some 19 million views online.

What’s in it for the brand? Creating deeper connections with AmEx’s customers and artists, Curtis said. Not to mention the cool factor.